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Flight of Doves

SYNOPSIS – A FLIGHT OF DOVES 

A Flight of doves is primarily a novel of fiction which seeks to draw attention to the various environmental and human issues occurring in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with particular emphasis on the plight of the Eastern Lowland gorillas.

Mike Connor, on a mission to smuggle coltan for illegal sale in Rwanda, is being escorted back to the fictitious town of Wanigale, by Ferris, a giant half breed Congolese. Ferris runs the Kisoto coltan mine using poverty stricken artisanal miners, along with child labour. Mike is abducted by a group of rebels, led by Ngarima, a leader in the Congo Freedom Front militia.                               

Alphonse Kalamu, a highly placed Congolese government official, who was responsible for the formation of the CFF, granted Sydney Chalmers and Paula de Haas, permission to operate in the DRC, although at the time he was unsure of their exact motive, but for which he received a substantial bribe. Chalmers and de Haas had convinced Mike to join them in the acquisition of the coltan.

Mike’s lawyer brother Sean, whose wife Jaime, has developed a passionate interest in the conservation of the Lowland gorillas. She convinces Sean to take her to the DRC to meet Alphonse Kalamu, in the rather naïve hope of she could influence the government’s attitude toward the conservation of the gorillas, which sadly, she fails to do. Kalamu however, subsequently has a change in his perspective of environmental conservation and prior to his disablement in a helicopter crash, resolves to commit himself to prioritising conservation attitudes in the government.

Sean, along with Mike’s mistress, Karen Kanst, travel to the DRC to rescue Mike, although Karen is actually only interested in acquiring wealth of her own. Karen seals a deal with Ferris using a Russian to provide the finance to buy the coltan, thereby cutting out her erstwhile friends, Chalmers and de Haas.

Mike escapes from the rebels but suffers an attack of malaria and is taken to an Ebola virus control medical unit, by MONUSCO soldiers. The control centre is under the stewardship of Antoinette Angerre, an attractive French doctor. Sean and Ferris locate Mike at the unit and following his release, Sean and Antoinette find affection in a platonic relationship. Sean’s wife travels to Rwanda to meet Anita, Ferris’s teenage daughter who has an affectionate rapport with gorillas. Jaime believes that Anita should be employed in a World Heritage national park to work with the endangered apes and along with Sean, wants to set up a trust to provide funding towards the conservation of the gorillas.

Following the death of Chalmers, Paula de Haas finds herself embroiled in a barter deal between Ngarima, who requires re-armament for his rebels, and a Serbian mafia group who require a container load of hardwood. She engages Karen to help her with the logistics. Karen seeks the assistance of Mike Connor, with the assurance that he will be paid in precious minerals.

Mike successfully foils the whole operation by diverting the container of hardwood timber to Ferris’s benefit but still gains the mineral rewards. Owing to the lack of the re-armament for Ngarima, he suffers defeat by a more ruthless rebel group, who then control the coltan mine to Ferris’s dismay.

The outcome for the environment and its inhabitants none the less remains to be one of crisis.

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